Sole SB700 vs Sole SB900 – Compared And Contrasted

Sole Fitness SB700 vs SB900 Indoor CyclesSole Fitness has two very good spin bikes – the SB700 and SB900. They do look alike with the same styling and paintwork but there are some important differences.
We look at those in this comparison post including the one big obvious difference being the price with the Sole SB700 cheaper by $200 and look at why that it is.

In preparing this in depth comparison of these two bikes I’ve spent hours looking at each bikes features. I’ve check out their specifications, read through the listings on the Sole’s site, checked out the manuals, contacted sole Fitness to clarify anything I didn’t know and looked at the customer reviews.

I’ve then lined them up against each other and looked at the important items to give a complete compare and contrast of them so as to give a fully explanation the differences and what it means for the customer.

This post goes in depth into those differences, if you just want the numbers then check out our spin bike comparison page where we have listed all the bikes reviewed on the site to date in a table.

To begin here is a quick overview of the bikes:

Sole SB700

sole sb700 Indoor Cycle priceThis bike comes with a heavy 48 lb flywheel that gives a smooth pedaling experience like you get when on an outdoor bike.

It is fully adjustable to give a comfortable and efficient ride for those between 4 ft 10 inches and 6 ft 4 inches. It can accommodate safely anyone up to a maximum weight of 300 lbs.

The bike can be used in light commercial settings as well as at the home. It is a heavy bike coming in at 140 lbs to give a good solid basis to your ride.

It has friction resistance which is controlled by a knob at the top of the frame that gives incremental and continuous resistance to increase the intensity to the level you want.

It also includes a console that measures RPM, time elapsed, calories burned, speed and distance. It can also measure your heart rate if you supply a compatible heart rate strap. It’s great for motivation and keeping you in the best zone for an effective workout.

Read more here

Sole SB900

sole sb900 indoor cyding bike priceThis bike also has a 48 lb flywheel giving you the same great pedaling experience similar to the one you get when riding an outdoor bike.

It is also fully adjustable to get the best fit for different shapes and sizes between the heights of 5 ft and 6 ft 2 inches. It is also specified to cater for people 300 lbs and under.
The resistance is magnetic which provides a very quiet experience. It does change incrementally as it is controlled by a tension knob at the top of the frame like friction resistance which makes it easy to get it to the level of hardness you want for your workout.

To keep it more maintenance free and quiet the bike uses a belt drive. It is going to be a very quiet riding experience where you won’t disturb others in your home even in the middle of the night.

It is constructed from steel giving you a stable riding experience which allows you to concentrate fully on your workout.

Read more here

I’m going to go through the important features step by step detailing the differences. There are quite a few similarities which I mention as I go to help with the context but in the main my focus is on the differences.

Sturdiness

Both bikes are stable and solid giving the basis for pedaling hard and jumping from seated to standing. There is no rocking or shaking no matter how intense the workout.

Both bikes don’t have levelers under the stabilizers which seems strange to me as most bikes include this so you can use the bike on uneven floors. So you do need a flat even floor to use the bikes unless you want to moving from side to side as you workout.

Adjustability

Both bikes are adjusted in the same way and have a full range of adjustment with handlebars and the seat being able to be adjusted horizontally and vertically. The adjustment is continuous so you can position the seat and handlebars exactly where you want and tighten in place – you are not restricted by pre-set holes in the pole.

From the information I have the SB700 does fit a wider range of people with it fitting people from 4 ft 10 inches to 6 ft 4 inches tall and the SB900 is restricted to people between 5 ft and 6 ft 2 inches tall.

Resistance

A point of difference between the bikes is the type of resistance used. The SB900 has magnetic resistance with a manual knob at the top of the frame to set the level of intensity.

The SB700 adjustment method is the same but uses a kevlar pad (manmade hardwearing material) that sits on the top of the flywheel and uses friction for resistance. Both are incremental and continuous and you can set it to the amount of resistance you want.

Magnetic resistance is quiet and maintenance free as there are no touching parts whereas the friction resistance makes a small amount of noise and the pad wears down overtime. It will need replacing.

The resistance on the friction resistance can be turned up to impossible but with the magnetic resistance, if you are very strong rider or spinner, you may find it is not as difficult as you like it (but that is only for a very small proportion of people).

If you want to know more you can read more about the differences between magnetic and friction resistance here.

Drive Type

Both bikes have a belt drive. This give a maintenance free and almost noiseless riding experience. You may notice a different feel to the ride as it will be smoother than the one with the chain. At some point, in a few years time, the belt will loosen and need replacing but in the meantime there is nothing that needs to be done like you have with the chain drive.

If you want more detail in the difference between belt drives and chain drives you can read more here.

Pedals

The SB900 comes with dual pedals for SPD shoes on one side and normal athletic shoes on the other side with toe cages and straps. If you want to use SPD specialist shoes for your workout then this saves you the trouble of replacing the pedals.

The Sole SB700 comes with pedals that have the toe baskets with straps that you slip your shoes into and tighten for grip (like one side of the dual pedals). You can change them out for specialist pedals if you want but that will cost you extra unless you already have a pair.

Both bikes have fixed gear which means that while the flywheel is moving the pedals are moving and you can’t freewheel so you can get the maximum amount of benefit from your workouts. You can stop the flywheel by pushing down on the tension knob if you want to get off quickly.

Comfort

When it comes to noise the SB900 is much quieter with it all being whisper quiet due to the magnetic resistance. The SB700 isn’t noisy but it is louder due to the resistance pad making a shushing sound as it rubs the flywheel.

The SB900 is also going to be less dirty too as there is no dust being given off from the resistance but you may want an rubber exercise mat for both bikes to prevent any damage to your floors all the same.

Storage

The bikes are much the same when it comes to storage with the SB700 being 21 inches wide by 40 inches long and the SB900 31 inches wide by 40 inches in length. This gives the advantage to SB700 in this regards and it is lighter by 20 lbs too, making easier to move around.

They both can be tipped onto transport wheels at the front to make the moving of the bikes from place to place easier.

Assembly

Assembly is the same for both bikes with them coming partially assembled. All the tools needed to complete the assembly are included and both should take less than 60 minutes to complete. The SB900 maybe slightly harder to complete because it is the heavier bike making it harder to hold in place while bolting the pieces on to the bike.

Console

A good feature of both bikes is the inclusion of the console. It helps with motivation and tracking performance. It is basic and doesn’t include pre-set workout programs. Both bikes have the same console.

It measures RPM, calories burned, distance, time elapsed and speed. If you supply an ANT+ compatible heart rate strap you can monitor your heart rate too. The console is easy to read and set up. It appears to be sweat proof.

If you do want to track progress over time you are going to need to keep a record manually as it doesn’t have the ability to upload to your computer or internet account.

Accessories

Not much to say here. They both only have a dual water bottle holder at front of the handlebars. Which is a good place for storing your water bottles as it is out of the way of most of the seat. But that is all you get in terms of accessories.

Price

The SB900 has a number of premium features over the SB700. To start with it is heavier for a more durable ride. It also has magnetic resistance which provides you with an almost silent riding experience and maintenance free bike. It also has dual sided pedals so you can use either normal athletic shoes or specialist SPD shoes with cleats. The magnetic resistance do change the riding experience slightly but it does mean you can ride at anytime of the day or night and watch the TV in peace with only your breathing probably disturbing the silence.

It is these features that you are paying the extra for and they do provide a better experience but you will still get a very good spinning or training experience with the SB700. Some people prefer resistance pads.

Summary

As mentioned in the price section the main differences between the bikes are the resistance (SB700 friction, SB900 magnetic) and the pealds (SB700 toe cages, SB900 dual pedals). The SB900 is heavier which gives it a more solid footing for workouts and durability.

Both bikes are highly rated. The SB900 is more expensive and it is overall a better bike. Having said that both bikes give you the basis for working out as intensely as you want for a good number of years trouble free.

14 comments for “Sole SB700 vs Sole SB900 – Compared And Contrasted

  1. Claude Dufresne
    September 2, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Hi,

    I appreciated the comparaison you made between this two models because I’m looking for a spinning bike and these two models by Sole are my choices with a preference for the SB900 but I need to find a bike that will fit both me and my spouse who is petite (4’11”). Base on your review, I should buy the SB700 but my spouse tried the SB700 at the store and even that model seems to be big for her specifically the height of the seat and the distance from that seat and the pedals. Thinking about that problem, maybe I found a solution. These bikes are rock solid and made with good quality steel so maybe I could cut a bit of the seat post which is very long and by doing that she should be able to adjust easily the seat so her legs should be in the right position. What do you think about that solution?

    Thanks

    Claude
    Québec, Canada

    • Paul
      September 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Hi,

      It’s good to hear you appreciated the comparison. As to modifying the seat post – it sounds like it might work but it will probably void any warranty and depending on how much you are going to remove it may affect how stable the seat is when it is extended. I’ve come across people successfully making adjustments to other spin bike models but not the SB700.

      Regards,

      Paul

      • Claude Dufresne
        September 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm

        Thanks Paul. Can you suggest a spinning bike as good as those made by Sole made with solid material, offering a quiet riding (belt drive), a bike that will fit my spouse (4’11’) without having to modify anything with the consequences of losing the warranty like you said.

        • Paul
          September 16, 2015 at 11:11 am

          Hi,
          Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. It is a tough question. I couldn’t find bikes around the same price as the Sole SB700 that have a belt drive and adjust to fit a person 4 ft 11 ins. The bikes that had a minimum fitting had chain drives like the Spinner Edge although $200 more.

          The best I found of the bikes I’ve done some investigation on is the Schwinn AC Sport with Carbon Blue Belt Drive but it does cost another $800 more (my review is for the version with a chain drive). It has magnetic resistance so it is a very quiet bike but it doesn’t come with a console.

          Sorry I couldn’t help out more.

  2. sheena Strom
    November 4, 2015 at 2:12 am

    my resistance knob won’t turn at all. Ive only had my bike since mid july of 2015

    • Paul
      November 4, 2015 at 6:53 am

      I’m sorry to hear that. Have the Sole Fitness service department come back to you on the problem? From what I’ve seen they do provide a good service.

  3. December 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Can you double check the specs. Costco.ca indicates that the SB700 has a belt drive system.

    • Paul
      December 16, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Sorry about that. Yes it has a belt drive. I’ll change this post. I even wrote about it on the review post “The drive is very quiet on the bike as it uses a belt drive to turn the flywheel.”

  4. Dave
    May 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    We just bought the SB900. real solid bike. With the resistance knob to all the way it still has resistance on it. Like riding slightly uphill or against a 10mph wind. I have ridden lots of spin bikes and never had oone do this. I called Sole, they said both the 700 and 900 have this amount of resistance on them. The freight guy just picked up our pick and he checked it out and agreed with us. He pushed the pedal with his foot from straight up to quarter way down, let go and it went another quarter and stopped. You have not mentioned this in either of your reviews, but I have seen other people make comments on different websites about this issue. Are these abnomalies?

    • Dave
      May 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Follow up, all the bikes do not have this issue, a lock nut vibrated loose during shipping, all is good now

      • Paul
        May 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm

        That’s great to hear. Thanks for letting us know.

  5. Mitch
    March 31, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks so much for comparison of the Sole SB700 & SB700 . I was looking at both bikes and the research you did really helped me to make a decision. You have a great web site.

    • Paul
      September 4, 2018 at 6:13 pm

      You’re welcome. Great to hear it helped you with your decision. Which one did you go for?

  6. Paul
    December 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I’ve asked the manufacturer to confirm but unfortunately, I haven’t received a response.

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